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The Lost Diagrams of Walter Benjamin

(Ma biblotheque 2017) ISBN 978-1-910055-36-6

43 visual responses to the title plus essays by Helen Clarke, Sam Dolbear, & Christian A. Wollin
Edited by Helen Clarke & Sharon Kivland

In A Berlin Chronicle Walter Benjamin describes his autobiography as a space to be walked (indeed, it is a labyrinth, with entrances he calls primal acquaintances). The contributors to The Lost Diagrams respond to the invitation to accompany Benjamin in reproducing the web of connections of his diagram, which, once lost (he was inconsolable), was never fully redrawn. see Walter Benjamin, ‘A Berlin Chronicle’, 1932, in One-Way Street: And Other Writings, trans. by Edmund Jephcott and Kingsley Shorter, London: Verso, pp. 293–346

For Danielle, Hazel, Katy, Antoine, Thomas Walter and the others. One esquire of protogenesis, I chose to follow Benjamins’s process of drawing a diagram of his life in one single attempt. Sitting at a table I scribbled in my sketchbook a possible web of connections retracing back to my childhood, instinctively finding a way to articulate on the page a sense of chronology and a way to separate the dead from the living. It took no more then 15 mins to do so. Names were popping out as if to their own accord, I was well aware that another day, other circumstances would probably conjure up a different set of acquaintances. An image of a younger self confidently aims her bow and arrow at this roadmap of her life not yet lived.

The publication was launched at MISS READ: Berlin Art Book Festival in July 2017 at Haus der Kulturen der Welt.
There was a UK launch and discussion hosted by bookRoom at the Small Publishers Fair on 11th November 2017 with editor Helen Clarke and contributors Anne-Marie Creamer, Dean Kenning, Mark Riley and myself.

download 2 diagram variations


The Lost Diagrams of Walter Benjamin 

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